Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Training students for what machines can't do?

In today’s print addition of the New York Times, on page A19, there is an excellent opinion piece by David Brooks titled: “What Machines Can’t Do.”   It is online at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/04/opinion/brooks-what-machines-cant-do.html?hpw&rref=opinion&_r=0 .

This article addresses the work now being done by automation and the abilities that workers in our ever changing world will need in such a world.  It leaves painful questions as to how current public schools are meeting that need.   It affirms that “… the age of brilliant machines seems to reward a few traits. First, it rewards enthusiasm….  Second, the era seems to reward people with extended time horizons and strategic discipline.”

How is a public school system dominated by multiple choice tests even thinking about reinforcing such critical abilities in our students? 

How do multiple choice tests focus students on their own goals, and the ability to constantly modify those goals, and the critical goal of maintaining focus to achieve those goals?

David Brooks is pointing to a very painful question for US public education in 2014!